Rare bottle of Groot Constantia Grand Constance sells for nearly R1 million
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A rare bottle of rare bottle of Grand Constance has been sold on auction for R967,300 by Strauss & Co, setting a new record by more than doubling the price fetched from another bottle sold in May for R420 000.
Groot Constantia is South Africa’s oldest wine producing estate - in existence for 336 years and producing wine without interruption since 1685.
Throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth century the wines produced at Groot Constantia were supplied to royalty such as Frederick the Great of Prussia and Louis Philippe of France. A monthly order of Groot Constantia’s wine was delivered to Saint Helena Island exclusively for Emperor Napoleon’s consumption during his years in exile from 1815 until his death in 1821.
Over the years the production of Grand Constance wine was halted, until several years ago, under the guidance of award winning wine maker Boela Gerber, Groot Constantia took the decision to recreate this historic wine.
After recreating the original formula of Grand Constance the grand old dame was resurrected. Then came the task of recreating the signature bottle with its long neck and red wax seal. After a five-year journey, Gerber discovered an intact bottle of Grand Constance in Paris and, from a photograph, the original Grand Constance bottle was replicated.
Boela Gerber, winemaker at Groot Constantia says, “Groot Contantia’s Grand Constance is a historical treasure and an important part of world wine heritage. To make this wine is a challenging task and takes a lot of skill from our wine making team – it is essentially matching flavours perfected over centuries. Each bottle is like a liquid time capsule.”
Floricius Beukes, viticulturist at Groot Constantia, explains that Grand Constance is produced from a two-acre vineyard block next to the Manor House. “This special location on the farm enjoys a Mediterranean climate with cool breezes from the Atlantic Ocean that is optimal to grow the fruit that becomes Grand Constance.”
“Grand Constance, which put Groot Constantia on the global map centuries ago, and became a favourite among royalty, is still a considered purchase today,” says Jean Naudé, CEO of Groot Constantia.
Today Groot Constantia acts as a living museum, preserving the history and cultural legacy of the wine industry and Grand Constance as a heritage wine.